Composting at L'Arche Tahoma Hope Community

L’Arche Tahoma Hope is a Christian community in Tacoma, Washington, and one of many L’Arche communities around the world, which works with the developmentally disabled.

They purchased 13 of my composting barrels which I installed at 6 of their houses. Although small in scale, I believe this is symbolic of a better future where humans live in harmony with Earth and not in competition with her.

Recycling organic "wastes" at home is a satisfying activity with many benefits for the environment:
It improves garden soil and the health of the plants you grow in that soil.
It decreases truck traffic needed to haul away grass clippings and other yard debris.
It reduces the pollution caused by that traffic.
It conserves the energy needed to run large scale compost processing equipment for yard wastes
It reduces the landfill space needed to dispose of food wastes.
An added bonus to home composters is saving money because they have less need to go out and purchase compost and other materials to improve soil.

Reference: Seattle Public Utilities

 Do Compost

  • Vegetable Scraps
  • Grains and Pasta
  • Fruit rinds and peels
  • Breads, coffee grounds, filters
  • Tea Bags Paper Napkins, Towels
  • Egg Shells


 Do Not Compost

  • Meat
  • Fish and Poultry
  • Cheese
  • Oily Foods
  • Butter
  • Other animal products


My inspiration for this composter came primarily from Seattle Tilth’s food waste composter ( which is basically identical to mine except I happened to have a garage full of pickle barrels and not garbage cans (occupational hazard). What I like most about these sunken composters is their literal connection to the Earth. A foot under, their monolithic forms, like Stonehenge, or maybe just strange lawn ornaments, cry out for an explanation. Help your friends and neighbours break the trance...lawns can be gardens and composting is the right thing to do.

Happy Composting!
Dan Borba